Digitalization probably is the most challenging aspect when looking for senses of modern companies. It is addressing the use of infrastructure for enabling continuous change, even though technology is not the dominant topic for digitalization. Moreover we need to consider the contribution of digitalization to change management. While new possibilities allow the establishment of new processes, it is important to understand the added value we get from communication options and interaction pattern we are working for.
Digitalization is opportunity and reason for the need to engage more in handling continuous change. While it brings completely new ways of communication and understanding of interaction, it also drive business strategies to a growing extend and makes business decision more complex than ever.
We tend to be misled by the understanding, that digitalization is a set of tools that we need to install in our business. We would be following a spiral of increasing complexity, if we do so. But digitalization is to be understood as a feature of continuous adaptation towards needs. How to best make use of it is to be discovered and depends a lot on the challenges and people:
Connectivity today means having all information at hand, being able to reach out for everyone, maintaining a distributed status, a work for a shared vision. More than ever we are working in networks. Mobile communication, access to business information and tools via VPN from every location, the replacement of traditional knowledge hubs by interactive Wiki pages and communities – all of them have been formed to be able to respond to changing requirements. And all them of are changing the way we are working and continuously form new chances.
And digitalization is not only changing organizations, it is changing the way we interact and create completely new possibilities with huge opportunities for growth. Networks of employees with similar tasks or businesses in the same domain are extended outside of the organization when using social networks and communities. Digitalization is starting to disconnect location and work, if we work from at home or even from a city far away. All of this brings opportunities to scale beyond our own capacities by more flexible work models and will allow us to adapt to changing requirements at a speed we never would see in an organization.
Data is getting an enormous relevance on top of the communication aspects. We do not need to look at sophisticated pattern recognition and advanced cluster analysis to understand the value. Investigations on the impact of activities can be started from simple trend analysis. It is an observation of change, which is moving us closer to the day to day business and provides more and more tactical options besides the strategies. Learnings can be run in a loop, build – test – learn is not a model anymore, fostering change can become a natural way of working.
“Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it)” is a book by Salim Ismael and Michael S. Malone describing a scenario where technology and the capabilities from it form a crucial aspect for extremely successful organizations.
With “Slack”, “GroupMap”, “Wunderlist”, and “Basecamp” I want to point out two tools out of many, which have built the foundation of many projects and team setups.
More from a technical perspective “Continuous Build” and “Continuous Integration” form software development procedures, which drive instant feedback loops from technical capabilities.
A showcase for the power of digitalization is the platform “Kaggle”, where companies can host competitions for big data challenges, forming an advanced crowd sourcing community.
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